The Global Leadership Forecast 2018 by DDI, EY and The Conference highlight that in India developing next-gen leaders was rated as a key challenge by 68 percent of surveyed leaders. This finding gives rise to the imminent question –is HR today actively building the CHRO pipeline for the VUCA world?
It is on this note that Gajendra Chandel, CHRO Tata Motors kick-started the third leg of the Competency Roundtable Series organized by People Matters in Mumbai in association with DDI as part of the 7th edition of People Matters Are You in the List Awards.
What do you want to see in future-ready CHROs?
Gajendra noted that across the industry, there is a need to build a very robust quality of talent in HR. Somehow, in the last few years, it has not been the most attractive function. Hence there is a need for HR to focus on HR also, to build the leaders for tomorrow. The need is to build the HR pipeline for VUCA world.
As the august gathering of senior HR leaders discussed on what the future ready CHRO needs to be prepared for, one thing that came out was that the tomorrow’s CHRO needs to leverage technology yet keep the organization humanized.
Another thing that is becoming critical is for the CHRO to be a good influencer in bringing the right things to the table through data, experience, and by giving a perspective of what’s in store. Perseverance at all times is also what a future CHRO needs to have. HR people tend to believe they have a birthright on the people agenda but many times are not able to make it happen because of lack of perseverance.
Another focus factor for a future leader is the basic requirement of value creation and preservation in organizations. In spite of systems and securities in place, the CHRO needs to understand what people can do to ensure that the organization values are preserved.
Purpose of work is yet another element which needs to be looked at closely as most new-age employees strongly focus on it. The future CHRO needs to look at this purpose quickly for an organization to be able to attract millennial employees.
While looking at all these futuristic elements, at the same time, the future leader also needs to focus on the practical functional part and ensure that it is not missing from the younger generation of leaders.
Using experience, education, & exposure to surface HR potential
In order to surface future HR potential, today’s HR leaders need to rely on the 3Es- education, experience, and exposure. They need to question what exposures and experiences they can explore for the HR community in order to activate and accelerate the development of future CHROs.
Are there some practices that can be formalized for development of RUIL winners? The group threw some interesting insights ton doing this. One of the ways of doing this was to impart them functional expertise through different projects. It is through practice that future CHROs can graduate to becoming influencers to business.
Just education is not able to deliver anything. It has to be a combination of experience and exposure across functions. A real-world experience through say HR labs both in-house and in the outside world is one such option to give them the right exposure. For instance, can they help an NGO go-to-market? This will help them gain exposure in an area they have never touched without impacting the business directly. Hence the idea is to create opportunities for them for immersion.
Additionally, HR needs to take charge and be in charge of their development. The initiative needs to be individual driven and should involve the stakeholder. So the business partner or the boss should be made a part of the CHRO's development's agenda. This makes the business also invested in the development of the CHRO.
Another way to expose them to business is to make them a part of business reviews. When HR is part of that heat, they come to know the exact challenges of the business and what it needs to deliver. This way, they will become equally answerable for delivering results. Also, the CHRO then precisely knows what needs to be done for a particular group of people. Alternatively, making them shadow board a business leader would also give them an insightful exposure to business.
In conclusion, to move future CHROs from the role of a reactor to a participator to an anticipator requires them to be more exposed, experienced, and aware of the whole ecosystem and not just their organization. The ecosystem is changing dynamically; hence future CHROs need to imbibe from what worked earlier as well as anticipate what will work in the future.
[The article is curated from the Competency Roundtable Series organized by People Matters in Mumbai in association with DDI as part of the 7th edition of People Matters Are You in the List Awards.]
Click here to read about the previous roundtable in Gurgaon.